McKinney Dentist Blog

Posts for: April, 2018

By Stonebridge Ranch Smiles
April 26, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dealing with a cavity? Find out how our McKinney, TX, family dentist can help.fillings

A cavity is a common dental problem that our McKinney, TX, dentist Dr. Kenneth Sharp can help with. While cavities can be prevented with proper oral hygiene, most adults at some point during their lifetime will develop a cavity. If this has happened to you, do not worry. We offer a simple way to restore your tooth after your cavity and your tooth will look good as new.

How is a cavity restored?

You can’t just leave unsightly and damaging holes in your teeth, as this can continue to weaken the tooth over time. This is why it’s necessary for all teeth that have had cavities to be rebuilt and restored.

What is a dental filling?

A filling, as you might imagine, is the material used to restore a tooth and to strengthen it after decay. While dental fillings can be made from different kinds of materials, our McKinney, TX, restorative dentist can provide a dental restoration that is as natural looking as possible so no one will ever know that you have a filling. This is why we use tooth-colored dental fillings to revive your smile.

What are the benefits of getting a tooth-colored filling?

As you might imagine, the most obvious benefit to getting a tooth-colored filling is that it will blend in with the rest of your tooth so no one will ever be able to tell that you have a filling. We believe that everyone should feel confident in their smiles and appearance and that’s why we focus on providing the most realistic restorations in McKinney, TX. Furthermore, the composite resin material we use is even matched to the shade of your tooth before it is applied.

As we mentioned above, after the decayed enamel has been removed the tooth isn’t as strong as it was when it was whole. By placing the filling our goal is to also rebuild and re-strengthen the tooth to prevent further damage and to improve its resiliency and how it functions. This is by far the most important part of getting a dental filling.

Furthermore, back in the day when metal fillings were the norm, they required a lot of tooth enamel to be removed in order to make room for the filling. This often meant removing some healthy enamel too. Luckily, composite resin fillings are thinner and moldable, so we don’t have to remove as much enamel from your teeth before placing the filling, which means a stronger natural tooth for the long run.

If you are concerned that you might be dealing with a cavity, or if you have questions about the dental services we offer here in McKinney, TX, don’t hesitate to reach out to Stonebridge Ranch Smiles today for the care you need. 

By Stonebridge Ranch Smiles
April 23, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers   celebrity smiles  

What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.

"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."

But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.

"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."

What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.

Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.

To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.

Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?

"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.

For more information about veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Stonebridge Ranch Smiles
April 13, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crown lengthening  

While we often associate tooth decay with cavities forming in a tooth’s visible or biting surfaces, the occurrence of this all too common disease isn’t limited to those areas. Cavities can develop in any part of a tooth exposed to bacteria.

Gum recession, the shrinking back of the gums from the teeth, can cause such exposure in areas normally covered by the gums. Because these areas are usually more vulnerable to infection when exposed, cavities can develop at or right below the gum line. Because of their location it can be difficult to fill them or perform other treatments.

One way to make it less difficult is to perform a crown lengthening procedure. While the term sounds like we’re increasing the size of the tooth, we’re actually surgically altering the gums to access more of the affected tooth surface for treatment. It’s typically performed in a dental office with local anesthesia by a general dentist or a periodontist, a specialist in the gums.

During the procedure, the dentist starts by making small incisions in the gums to create a tissue “flap” that can be lifted out of the way. This exposes the underlying bone, which they then reshape to support the gum tissue once it’s re-situated in its new position. The dentist then sutures the gums back in place. Once the gums heal, the decayed area is ready for treatment.

Crown lengthening is also useful for other situations besides treating cavities. If a tooth has broken off at the gum line, for example, there may not be enough remaining structure to support a crown. Crown lengthening can make more of the underlying tooth available for the crown to “grab” onto. It’s also useful in some cases of “gummy smiles,” in which too much of the gum tissue is visible in proportion to the tooth size.

Because crown lengthening often involves removing some of the bone and is thus irreversible, you should discuss this procedure with your dentist in depth beforehand. It could be, though, this minor procedure might make it easier to preserve your teeth and even make them look more attractive.

If you would like more information on crown lengthening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.